As soon as I picked up ‘The Thank You Economy’ I was hooked. It’s not brain science, just common sense thinking but as I turned each page I found my self nodding and agreeing with every word. I hadn’t been a Gary Vaynerchuk fan before but I was now.
At the heart of the book is the belief that doing business well online is about the customer, about offering a good customer experience by being personal and attentive. Bringing back the best retail practices that our parents and grandparents were used to.
He takes this premise and hits us over the head with it. The book is littered with examples of businesses big and small that are leading the way in exceptional customer experience both online and offline.
6 quotes and my notes from the book
“Being small is an advantage, because an individual can really shape a brand with his or her own style and personality.”
The good news is that as small businesses we have the advantage. We can’t help but be personal as we are at the coal face. We are the people who have to attract the customer, talk to them, make them feel valued and get them to come back. We know our customers by name and we chat to them online and off. Forging strong customer experiences and keeping them should be easy for us.
“Consumers have more direct, daily contact with other consumers than has ever been possible in the history of the planet. More contact means more sharing of information, gossiping, exchanging, engaging in-short, more word of mouth.”
For me this is all social media really is. When you think about it Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ are just tools that expand our audience and our customers audience. Now if customers are happy with our product or service they aren’t just telling people in the pub, they are reaching out to people all around the world.
“It just makes sense that the better you know your consumers, the better you can tailor your marketing to them, and the more likely they are to buy from you.”
You know what? It’s hassle tailoring experiences, it takes time and energy but if you really want to be successful you need to stop thinking that one size fits all. At the very least you should know your customer or potential customers name and use it. The more you can make a customer feel valued, the more you make their experience special the more they will keep coming back.
“What’s remarkable about the little things is that the positive impact they have on a person’s performance or a customer usually far outweighs the effort or cost it takes to implement them.”
In the book Gary gives the example of the Joie De Vivre hotel chain. Staff members are encouraged to create delightful moments for the hotel’s guests. For example, they might research a special gift for a birthday or anniversary. There’s a lovely reference to a gift basket created for a very special mum that made me shed a tear or two.
“The person who says to you on Twitter, “I bleeping hate you!” is an awesome customer to have. If you can give alienated customers what they want, they will come back to you stronger than ever. Every time.”
One of the biggest fears companies have when they go online is the potential for negative feedback. Indeed when you read above about the reach of a positive recommendation you probably started to wonder about the reach of a negative one. The good news is that if you offer top notch customer care you can and will be forgiven. There’s a fab example in the book of a restauranteur who continues to bring his critics for free meals until they are satisfied. Of course some will take advantage of this but the positive buzz far outweighs this.
“Negativity launched online out of spite will be easily spotted as such if you keep your own tone polite and your message clear and consistent. Don’t bother to get into a debate even if you’re right. it’s not worth the effort, and again, you won’t win.”
And yes – don’t get into a public debate, even if you think you have won you probably got a whole lot of unwanted attention along the way.
This book is really worth a read, it won’t take you long and I’d be surprised if you don’t feel inspired once you’ve read it. You can buy it here (Amazon affiliate link).
It seems odd to be reviewing this book now as Gary’s new book ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World’ has just been published. I’ll be reading that over Christmas and I might even review it at some stage too. You can get your hands on it here (affiliate link).